Language weirds words

Articulation can be pretty funny. Just encountered the truncated phrase "Jump the Couch." In case you are living in a Pop Culture couch, it modifies the editorial phrase "Jump the Shark" (itself an articulation referencing the Happy Days episode where "The Fonz" jump over a shark tank is frozen in mid-jump as the end of the show. The audience presumably was enjoined/enjambed to watch the next episode mostly to see if the writers would ghoulishly dis-member a central fixture of the cast. People generally apply it to serialized television shows when the writers acknowledge that the audience is no longer sticking around to see the original plot/character development/premise.)

Fans--especially culture gossip mavins--recognize that "star" identities are just as constructed. Like a show, these actors and actresses may act bizarrely to attract attention, undercutting what may remain of a perception that the "star" is a consistent person, bounded by the same behavioral rules that govern most humans outside the culture industry. "Tom Cruise," long rumored to have been gay, "Jumped the Shark" when he boisterously proclaimed he was in love with Katie Holmes on Oprah Winfrey's show. This couch gymnastics, performed in "The Oprah's" national Burkean parlor, shattered all sorts of semiotic rules various "Cruise" identites neatly tied together. Among these identities: 1. Tom Cruise as a tightly-controlled and private person ("Intensity Tom"). 2. Tom Cruise as a movie mogul ("Hollywood Tom"). 3. Gay Tom Cruise ("Closet Tom") 3. Super masculine Tom Cruise ("Top Gun Tom"). 4. Tom Cruise the Scientologist ("Eccentric Tom"). His jumping up and down splintered all of these things with his semiotic Calvin and Hobbs'esqe parody. Just about this time, somebody, somewhere, decided to articulate "Jump the Couch"...

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